1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

NEW class ideas for WCAF

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Rob Markoff, Feb 8, 2013.

  1. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    HOW the UV blocking is achieved (for purposes of the class) is irrelevant. Nor is a debate as to HOW the standard is/was determined - or whether or not it is "arbitrary" for the purposes of the class, irrelevant.

    You see, that's the difference between a company sponsored class and a PPFA sponsored class. Marketing "hype" plays no part in the factual basis of the class.

    Sure, Tru Vue may (currently) make the only coated float glass product that meets the standard - but it is NOT the only option and the class makes this FACT perfectly clear.

    It isn't about whose product "looks" better, cleans better, costs less, is easier to handle, etc. It's a "science" class based on FACT.

    And if/when the standard changes, the new standard will be used as a benchmark/reference in the class. But until it does change, the PPFA class will adhere to the standard as it is used as criteria for passing the CPF/MCPF exams.
  2. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    class ideas

    Elaine from PPFA made the extra effort to contact PPFA members and ask for feedback from them about classes, teachers, PPFA events, etc. The following are ideas I sent to her a year ago.

    I recognize in the last year, some of these ideas were used, and the list is probably outdated.
    Time, people available, how many people would attend, and money are also big factors as to whether some suggestions are do-able.

    So here is from my list:

    1)Put the framing competition front and center and promote the competition to the general public. Good advertising for the industry - I think WCAF, PPFA, manufacturers and suppliers would all rally behind promoting a competition that illustrates what custom framing is/can be and why it is different from wall art from Target, BB&B, Walmart, etc.

    We all see media coverage of the newest gadgets the public can buy at the tech conventions, the new concept cars at the car convention, even the newest in concrete at the World of Concrete convention.

    Why not the same for our framing competition?

    2)Use the WCAF show to be a gathering spot for industry data collection. Why not do an industry wide survey of framing - rents per square foot, years in business, number of employees, benefits, cost of materials (specifically outlined), annual sales volume, number of frames completed per year, who many suppliers do you buy from, technology used in the frame shop, etc.

    The survey could be part of PFM (yes, just like the Decor Pricing for Profit), PPFA, the grumble, and through suppliers several months in advance. The results could be a part of WCAF.

    I know there are many arguments about how to design surveys and how to analyze the results, but there are many questions on the grumble from people who are asking about just these things. Why not get an industry wide feel?

    The results could be a financial health check up for your business class.

    3)Things to know about leases, leasing, renting, - both building leases and
    equipment leases.

    4)Need a whole new image? what about a class where you bring your
    business cards, brochures, web site, etc. to class and everyone in the
    class helps to improve each persons marketing presence.

    5)How about a class in which you practice your sales skills - sort of like Jim
    Parrie's class in which he has the film about helping customers. Except in
    this class, you really do it, and the rest of the class gives you feedback on
    your presentation.

    6)How about a class or a meeting to come up with a new hook for our
    industry? Why not get all of us to figure out what might make framing a bit
    more popular to more than 6 - 8 % of the population? I sincerely doubt that
    the cost is as big an issue as we think, we just haven't figured out how to
    make it as "necessary" as big screen TV's, and the newest phones. A HUGE
    percentage of the population finds the money for electronic items every year,
    regardless of their income level. We just need a new hook, or a better one,
    than we have been using.

    7)How about a class on good marketing verbiage - like what words to use
    where, and how to make something sound interesting without being over
    the top?

    8)How about something concerning employees - what owners need to know,
    training periods and manuals, posting and right to know info, etc.

    How about a class for employees about why their bosses are so crabby
    and what they really are expecting the employee to do.

    9)John Ranes has a class on diversifying by bringing in gifts, but the gift
    market is a whole language unto itself. How about a class that introduces
    framers to how the gift market works, how things are ordered, territory
    agreements in gift lines, how payments are processed, etc.

    10a)Managing your internet presence in less than an hour - tricks to tie twitter,
    facebook, e-mails, blogs, newsletters, etc together.

    10b)Look at how some really young people with business advertise -
    which tie in social networking with "stores" and merchandise, and some of the
    GPS offers that Starbucks and other companies are trying with smart phones, bytelite (not
    sure of the spelling), and GPS being used to track customers in stores and combine QR's with the GPS and smart phones.

    11)A class on building store fixtures - fitting tables, mat and glass storage, design counters, etc. with the focus on efficiency, cost, and moveablilty.

    12)Shop local movements/buy made in the US movements and how they can be incorporated into marketing strategy for small business.
  3. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Rob's explanation does not account for why I can teach on the chapter level and not at the big show?

    Sorry Ylva, I mistook the L for an I.
    I would have to ask you and all the rest of the people who are posting here what you think my products are? Tagging tools? Do you really think that I have 6 hours of demonstrations on the use of tagging tools?

    The biggest problem I see is that Rob and Jim and a few others want me to pay to PPFA or WCAF to have them demonstrate for me. Why in the world would I want to do that? People don't swarm my booth to see Jim Miller, Rob, or any of the other approved people allowed to teach. They come to see me because they know that they will see something new, as well as get the right answers their questions. I won't leave the success of my company up to others. I do all my own technical service for a reason, and while I am still able to do so it will be me who answers the phone and demonstrates my methods.

    David, I'm not sure if it would be a good thing or a bad one to take myself off the show floor entirely. This years WCAF show was the best in my company's history but as you know, the show is at a high cost. There comes a time when when you reach a point of dimishing return. I'm there already.
  4. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

  5. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Are you really that obtuse? Your continued whining after a detailed explanation from two of your colleagues is the "regret" I was referring to. No one is "out to get you", Pat.

    So there is no misunderstanding,

    I have absolutely NO desire for the PPFA or WCAF to have me demonstrate YOUR products.

    I have NO desire to teach ANYTHING about your products. I do use them in my business and I would gladly take a class from you on any of your products if you choose to teach one - and I would send my staff to your classes as well.

    I don't want you to pay PPFA to have ANYONE demonstrate your products- it isn't up to me. I have no dog in the fight. Please leave me out of your complaint.

    But, if you want your products used at the National Conference, or at the PPFA Convention, you have been shown how you can do so.

    What the PPFA chapters do on a local level may have completely different criteria and associated costs.

    And attendees know full well before they attend what the class is about.

    But you may have opened Pandora's box and the National Office may have to make a ruling on whether such a class if presented/associated with the PPFA needs more regulation and limitation in the future.
  6. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Agree completely, Terry - and since it was my last class of the day, I invited anyone who wanted to stay to engage in a very spirited (but well reasoned) discussion all about "standards" and "marketing" - with Sasha Kelberg from groglass. It was intelligent converstation and very worthy and I thank Sasha for staying and participating.
  7. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Pat, I really don't doubt your products or your company. I would happily take a class. But in the end, you are talking about your company and your products only.

    To me, an educator shows every option available, without being biased on which product to use. You are selling your product and your knowledge of that product. Nothing wrong with that, but I assume you can agree that it is about selling your products and not about showing other valid options.
  8. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    I don't know if this question has been asked or if you can give an answer here, but how much does it cost to hold a class? Specifically what would it cost for Pat to book a classroom, sponsored by herself and teach that class, and many students would she need to enroll in the class to break even on the cost of the class?
  9. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think that would work for Pat's WCAF model.

    Pat had another person in her booth, perhaps it was her husband. Pat could have 'classes' on the hour for attach ez, and on the 1/2 hour for EZ fix and fill, and her husband, or helper, could sell the products at a different table.

    Her presentation could be the same as she does at her booth, with a seated captive audience.

    *plus her own coffee maker!!
  10. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    The show next year moves to a new venue - so past cost really has no bearing on what it will cost at the new venue.

    Even if I knew, it would not be appropriate to post what others have paid.

    Pat is a savy businesswoman.

    If the idea appeals to her, she should inquire and run the numbers to see if it makes sense.

    My gut feeling is that even if she charges for the class, it will not be a "revenue producing opportunity" (the true "cost" of the class might not even be offset by ticket sales, especially if she uses video reinforcement, which would almost be compulsory given the up close and personal aspect of what she would be demonstrating to a large audience.)

    The money to be made will be in the sales of her products and DVDs and the goodwill generated by having users of the product have a better understanding of the correct way to use them so they will use them more and thereby need refills.

    But she has already told us, hers was "the busiest booth at the show" but she is approaching diminishing returns due to the cost of exhibiting, so why would she need to increase sales by teaching? What would the purpose of the classes be?
  11. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God


    If she could cover the room/class cost with attendance it would be considered a success. Having the ability to continually show and sell her products on a timed schedule would most likely increase the sales of her kits.

    I bought them without being able to see her demonstration.
  12. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Ah, but therein lies the rub. Remember, that we weren't originally discussing the "Direct Moulding" model of renting a room for the entire show, but a single sponsored class at the WCAF.

    A sponsored class at the WCAF is more than a room. It comes with all of the National Conference benefits; advertising/promotion, e-mail blasts, ticket sales, monitoring, av, chairs, tables, clean up, etc.. It is also a "one shot" deal, a fee PER class.

    So , how much could Pat charge for the class? (and the class would have to be excluded from the "all in one" pass if Pat were to receive the proceeds of what was charged (assuming that the "deal" includes 100% of the door)).

    Given that the majority of vendor sponsored classes have NO Fee associated with them?
  13. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    I guess she'll have to choose a direction to meet her needs.

    I bet the learning curve to developing and nurturing a successful class is steep.

    Perhaps Rob and Barbara Markoff, Jim Miller, Jay Goltz, et al - just make it seem easy.
  14. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    Speaking of new classes, one of the complaints I hear from people using Epson printers is the amount of ink wasted.

    Perhaps Epson can teach a class on how to maximize the ink usage on their machines, or a way to jailbreak the cartridges so that wasted ink can be reused.
  15. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I think that should have been posted in green, since that would be about the same as Gillette teaching people how to sharpen their razor blades so they wouldn't have to buy as many new razors. It's diametrically opposed to their core business model.
    :kaffeetrinker_2: Rick
  16. Artrageous

    Artrageous PFG, Picture Framing God

    Not so much. If there is a perceived weakness in their model (wasting valuable ink) some competitor will come out with a unit that solves that issue and win over many disgruntled customers.

    Better to fix it and benefit from the good will.

    I know if I was paying 70+ per color cartridge with as many as 9 cartridges, I'd be upset having to throw away ink.
  17. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You know Rob, last year you insulted me and said I was whining because I had the nerve to ask the WCAF show to start earlier. There were many complaining about the fact that the show didn't start until 11, but because I said it you made it sound like I was complaining about the show, which was not the case at all.

    Now this year you have done it again. Because I had the nerve to asked to be put on the class schedule as an instructor, which I know for a fact that many have requested , you have again called me a whiner.

    I was not the one who stated that we had the busiest booth at the show. It was posted on PPFA's face book page by a member. But it shouldn't have mattered who said it, anyone, including your wife, who came by knows that it was true. You take everything I say and make it into something negative and have insulted me publicly one too many times.

    It's very clear that when it comes to PPFA's education committee, I am fighting a losing battle. You, and the rest of the GOB's club will make sure that I am excluded. And it sounds like now you want to lock me out of the chapter level too. Well Rob, go for it. You seem to have all the answers to how my company should operate. After all, I am a savvy, whining, victimized, businesswoman, so you may as well.

    Note: Rob, if how you have conducted yourself here is the shining example of how PPFA is going to operate in the future, then I won't be back. It would be a waste of time and money.

    And for the record, it has nothing to do with increasing sales. I don't need to have a class to increase sales. It has to do with being treated with the respect of an educator by the organization I have given so much back to.
  18. Susan May

    Susan May Gone.

    There was once a Grumbler who made a very intellegent observation. She said, "No one can Offend you, only you can Take Offence."

    Pat, I mean no offence, but when I went to a convention a few years back, I saw the Attach-Ez booth, and stopped to watch the demo. I had no idea who you were, and honestly didn't care who you were. As a framer, I was more interested in the product, not the person. You were not going to come to my shop, and do the framing for me, so why would I care who you were? (I bought the Attah-Ez, btw.)

    At the same convention, I took a class from Jim Miller. He taught mounting. I will admit that I took the class for two reasons, one, I wanted to learn about the mounting rods, and other object mounting ideas. And two, I wanted to take a class from Jim Miller. I already knew him through the 'G, and was looking forward to the few minuts after class where I could give him a hug, and thank him for all the help he had already given me through the 'G.

    I also took a class on Ink lines. Honestly, I don't remember who taught the book, but I did go home from that class and use the skills I learned.

    Of all the classes I took, the one where I forgot the teacher's name gave me the most bang for my buck. I did a lot more ink lines than object mounting in my shop.

    So, while some people might take a class because of the person teaching, most classes are taken because of the subject, not the teacher.

    Stop taking offence, and start looking into actually teaching a class. Rob has explained a few times here how you can do it, and it is very clear that your class would do well. But getting mad at everyone here is only dragging your own reputation down.
  19. art goddess

    art goddess Grumbler

    This is Ridiculous

    This back and forth is totally appalling. What I see as a fairly new grumbler is a few people running the show and write as if they are the experts on everything. While it is true that many are experts and well respected in our industry there is no need to act as if the rest of us are idiots and verbally belittle others. We are all in this together and it accomplishes nothing. I suggest you back off your criticisms of fellow grumblers and try to behave in a more positive and less self promoting way. Nobody deserves the kind of treatment you have given Pat.
  20. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    To my fellow, more rational Grumblers. This comment pains me more than any others.

    I joined and am passionate about PPFA because it is the most "inclusion-ish" and welcoming organization I know. I hope that this thread is not off putting to those who are not members and would consider joining.

    I also hope that if there are those who are unhappy about how things are run, that you would get involved, join a committee or run for office and work towards changing the things you disagree with. This is OUR trade association and I urge and welcome your participation.

    I have never tried to exclude anyone and I had hoped through this thread that I explained "the way things are," who is in charge, and if one is interested, how to change them.

    I am not in charge of the PPFA. I am not on the board. I am not on the Education Committee. I am not a chapter leader. Many of the people in those positions are women. The Executive Director of the PPFA is a woman. I have no idea what this "Good Old Boy's Club is or that it even exists. I have no power or authority with the PPFA to do anything.

    The National Conference at the WCAF is run by Debbie Salmon who is a woman. Period. There is no Good Old Boys Club there either. I have no control over who she selects as a Educator or which classes she selects to present, or the rules she makes for educators to follow.

    I think that Pat Kotnour is a true innovator who thinks outside the box and has brought useful tools and products to our industry. For that reason, when asked for a nomination for this year's Vivian Kistler Award for Innovation, Pat's name was the first to come to mind and I led the applause when her name was announced at the Luncheon. Formal recognition of her accomplishments was long overdue.

    When Pat first brought tagging guns to our industry, and others were taking her to task because "she didn't invent them" I championed her efforts and remain to this day a steadfast supporter and user of most everything she distributes.

    I did not write the PPFA Guidelines for Framing Textiles. I wasn't even on the committee. But, as an educator, I must quote chapter and verse of the Guidelines to those taking classes from the PPFA whose intent is to pass the CPF and MCPF exams as they are administered by the PPFA and the "correct" answers and procedures reflect the Guidelines. To the best of my knowledge, no one sat around and said,"how can we write these Guidlines so we will be the most unfair we can to Pat Kotnour?"

    Pat, I am sorry that you feel I am against you. Nothing could be further from the truth. My efforts were to try to help you but it would appear that because you are not satisfied with the answers or suggestions offered that I am conspiring with others- which could not be further from the truth.

    This whole thread reminds me of the title of a live album recorded by Joe Walsh in 1976.
  21. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    What kind of treatment is everyone perceiving is given to Pat??? I don't see any belittling in what Rob is posting, but then, I am not all too overly sensitive and reading more into words than is meant.

    Pat, I don't exactly understand what you want, to be honest. Didn't you just get recognized for all that you are doing? And wasn't Rob one of your supporters???

    What is it that you seek? And no, I am not trying to be belittling or anything, I am honestly curious what you hope to achieve and how you think these postings are going to help.

    If I read back your answer to me, I could take offence as well.......I could draw the conclusion that you assume I know nothing about anything. I can almost hear the sigh through the screen.
  22. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Kristie, this could be an interesting topic / class.

    Frankenthreading slightly, However, because of the vast difference in state laws, etc., your local employer trade counsel / business groups would probably have better training. I knew whenever I was working with clients in California, I had to rethink what I had been discussing in Michigan from an employment standpoint. And Alabama and Texas had radically different ideas.

    We used to use the Mountain States Employers Council, in Colorado for talks and training. I'm sure there is something similar in California.
  23. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Where did you get that idea? "Rob and Jim and a few others" have developed their own classes to teach. We have not presumed that you want to teach our classes, so why would you presume that we want to teach yours?

    There is no reason to demonize "Rob and Jim and a few others" for explaining the very-well-established policies of the trade show, which none of us could influence. We do not make the rules.

    This is not about "Rob and Jim and a few others". It is about Pat demanding an exceptional advantage to promote her business. But anyone who reads this thread can understand how and why her demand is unreasonable.

    Pat's comparison of her class to those presented by "Rob and Jim and a few others" is not valid. By her own admission, Pat's class would be strictly proprietary, to promote only her company's products. In contrast, the classes by "Rob and Jim and a few others" are not brand-specific.

    For example, when I talk about mounting a book using clear film in my class, I point out that it can be made with Mylar (polyester) or Pat's InvisiMount (polypropylene). I also mention the factual differences in those two types of plastic film, but I have no interest in selling either type of film from any supplier. Pat does.

    The National Conference/WCAF organizers would be foolish to give Pat the free classroom she wants, because if they did, then all of the other suppliers with proprietary classes (Wizard, Gunnar, Valiani, ITW/AMP, Fletcher-Terry, SpecialtySoft, LifeSaver, Capax, etc.) would expect the same exception.

    All of the others play by the rules. Pat should, too.
  24. mikki

    mikki MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I have been in classes with everyone in this discussion and two of them are great friends of mine and I feel I can call on them for any question and they will do their best to help! Jim even shared calligraphy pen info with me at breakfast once. Rob tells this food phobe what to order!

    I took a sponsored class this year at WCAF/PPFA and ended up buying one of products the presenter suggested.
    I am waiting on them now. He even told us the SHOW SPECIAL!
    I see that as a win for the COMPANY THAT PAID FOR THE CLASS AND WAS MENTIONED IN SAID CLASS! They paid, I paid!


    Not all people are helpful on the phone but I have found that any of the PPFA teachers I have taken a PPFA class from are very as giving of their time, their knowledge and advise and I thank them for it! It is a close knit group of people there are not as many of us anymore. We support each other!

    PPFA education board sign me up for any Rob or Jim class.
  25. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    This post is very confusing. Is there another Jim whom you are referring to or is there another Jim Miller posting on your behalf?
    So are you telling me that you don't sell your books out of your free class room, Jim? You know that you do, so why don't you have to pay for your classroom? The fact is that I have played by the rules. But the rules that you have to follow and the rest of the industry are different.
  26. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Somebody is paying for the classroom! If Jim didn't personally pay for the classroom I imagine someone (a sponsor?) did. Somebody has to pay for the classroom! What am I missing?
  27. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes, that's exactly right. I have never sold a book in a National Conference/WCAF class. For reference, I mention the book in "The Complete Guide to Shadowboxes and Framig Objects" class, and refer interested framers to the PPFA and PFM bookstores, both of which stock them and sell them at the show. Sharing information is the purpose of my classes, not selling books. You seem to think my book is a money-making proposition. I'm flattered, but you're wrong.

    You need to clarify that statement, because it could read two ways. Are you suggesting that only you play by the rules and the rest of the industry does not? Or, are you saying that only I get an exception from the rest of the industry? Either way, you're way off base. The same set of rules has to be consistently applied to everyone. If there were any exceptions, everyone else would be protesting. But it's only you.
  28. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yep, sponsors are listed with the description of every class, althought most attendees don't seem to care about that detail. If I were selling anything, I probably would have to pay for the classroom, but I couldn't afford to do that. Heck, my honorariums wouldn't even pay for the coffee service in those classes. :icon11:
  29. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    actually could you guys and gals take this away from this thread

    as a potential visitor to wcaf next year i am interested in seeing how things are developing

    one area i think would be interesting is how to add printing to your framing business

    i come from the print side of things and added framing to it

    and so i see the benefits, and its kinda a natural progression for framers, you know making the bit in the middle of the frame :))

    and as the market from potential customers take photographs is massive compared to the artist market, there are bi gains to be made

    also i think more to do with the management of a framing business would be interesting topics for classes, so many framers i talk to seem to be people who of got into it out of being artists or something, and have had to learn the business side.
  30. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Can you be a little more specific? What kind of business things are you interested in?
    There have been many Pricing classes over the years, Bob Carter used to run a class I think he called "think like a retailer" or something similar.
    We've tried to bring "business" classes into our chapter and they are the worst attended.

    I ran a class last year (2011) that was a serious of "business" things and an attempt to explain why they work for some and not others. The general reaction was sort of "that's not the way I do it, so it wouldn't work for me."

    So, I ask again, can you give me some specifics you'd like to see?

    Thanks, Please don't take this post as negative. I hear a lot that people want "business" topics, but haven't been able to nail anyone down on exactly what they want to learn?
  31. John Ranes II CPF GCF

    John Ranes II CPF GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    A difficult process...


    Obviously lots of concerns and needs play into the decision making process in the selection of seminars at the major trade shows and the convention.

    I happen to be the outgoing Co-Chair of the PPFA Education committee, along with Carol Graham, aka Smile with Style on this forum. She and I worked with PPFA staff during the past two years to create a balanced array of programs that complimented the WCAF offerings but also attempted to meet the needs of our trade association as well. This was a difficult task with the limited number of classes and resources.

    Your class was always in the pool of considerations. In the upcoming year, I would suggest that you contact the new Chair of this committee, Fran Gray and let her know of your continuted interest to teach.


  32. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    wasnt particularly thinking pricing

    was thinking more business management. things like how to plan direction of business, market research, how to read management accounts to see how business is actually doing, it seems like a lot of framers struggle with this side of running a business

    not think specifically for myself, more just in general

    i know when i taught classes for a framing supplies company in the uk about printing, the business ones were the last to fill up, but my understanding was the people attending the business classes were the people who actually spent the most
  33. Emibub

    Emibub PFG, Picture Framing God

    Cliff I had a manager at LJ tell me years ago they would jazz up the titles of the classes to coax people to attend business oriented classes. For some reason it is hard to get framers to attend business classes. We always had trouble with those on a local level too.
  34. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    framers are great at the craft, but quite a lot i have spoken to seem to struggle with the business side
  35. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Perhaps this would help

    Cliff, out here in EPFG territory, one thing that worked for a business meeting was to run a pricing survey - in the newsletter at the time. The questions covered the pricing by component of two framing jobs with materials everyone could use, questions about square footage of the shop, rent, xxx net amount, number of employees, pay range, benefits, etc. The results went to one of our hardest working members, who crunched the numbers and created a nice handout with the results and some observations. You only got the results by attending the meeting. The meeting had 2 or 3 head people to keep it going, and had a round table discussion as part of it.

    We faced the same situation - the craft meetings attracted many people, the business meetings attracted fewer. When we were a really going organization, we had many active members - an older generation that liked going to meetings. As years have gone on, the younger generation isn't real interested in meetings, although they like to get together to eat and talk.

    I helped plan meetings for years. If you would like meeting ideas or sources for speakers, feel free to contact me.
  36. Cliff Wilson

    Cliff Wilson SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The fact that they struggle doesn't mean they want to learn.

    great idea. I'm not in charge of NE programs anymore, but I'll pass the idea on and any others you'd care to share. Just email me.

    Some of our most successful sessions were "open forums" where people asked any question and everyone tried to get an answer.
  37. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    yeai agree cliff, sorry didnt mean to suggest, but i think if people are given good choices that help their business no?
  38. Pat Kotnour

    Pat Kotnour SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Thank you John. I appreciate you lettimg me know. I will call her
  39. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Pat (and others)-

    When I (or any other speaker) teaches a class for the PPFA at their Convention, I have to sign a contract that details all the specifics for the class (including renumeration and other financial responsibilities) as well as content.

    Here is a paragraph from this year's contract:

    "Presentations: The contracted speaker will provide this course for the Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) at the above times and place. It will be appropriate to the discussed audience and void of any commercialism including suggestive references to your services, company services or any company and product."

    Since Pat has already informed us that her "product is her" -

    Please help me understand how any class that Pat would teach for the PPFA could not violate the terms of the contract?
  40. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Rob, this whole thread, which you started, is making you look like a self-serving, cry baby, trying to protect your golden goose.

    PPFA attendees would certainly benefit more, hearing someone who has actual knowledge and experience about a subject being taught, rather than someone with no relevant credentials, who read a book about something and then decided they could make money teaching a seminar about it. There are plenty of insurance professionals, industrial safety engineers and OSHA inspectors who would be happy to share their knowledge, and be able to actually answer the questions that are sure to follow.

    Pat Kotnour is an expert at mounting, and she's got a track record as an innovative and successful business person. She's also experienced in her subject area, and has a finger on the pulse of the industry.

    Does she have an affiliation with a product and company? Yes, that's what gives her the right to be considered an expert. And she'll certainly disclose her affillation to her audience so her potential bias, if any, will be out in the open. But it's this experience that also make her a credible expert, in posession of unique knowledge and insight.

    I don't want to hear a plumber teach gilding. Nor do I want that plumber selected to speak because he doesn't have a favorite brand of burnisher or glue. Let's give the audience credit for having some intelligence too. They'll decide for themself, what's objective and what is biased.

    I don't know if you started this thread to find a way to make your next buck off of the PPFA, but it sure looks like that was your motive. Trying to throw a road block in front of Pat's attempts to get speaking assignments reinforces that image.

    The PPFA is the only trade association we have. I sincerely hope that this wide spread perception of a Good 'Ol Boys Network is a thing of the past, but you're not helping.
  41. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well, Paul- you got me there. That's definitely the reason. Sorry to have hoodwinked all of you into helping me make my next yacht payment.
  42. Susan May

    Susan May Gone.

    I hate to say it, but I am ashamed to see grown ups (who are supposed to be professionals) who can't seem to understand a few simple things.

    (By the way, this is a list that my daughter pointed out. She is eighteen years old, and a college student. Still a far cry from being a Professional Picture Framer.)

    1) When you are teaching a class on a product that you created, or even just teaching a class on how to use a particular product, you are ADVERTISING the product. When you advertise something, you must pay to do so.
    2) Teachers don't make a lot of money. Just look at the state of our educational system. So, teaching at a convention is not a money maker. They are sharing information.

    How hard is it for people to understand these ideas?

    Rob started this thread to see if there were any new ideas for classes. He didn't ask "What do you want to pay me to teach?" And he didn't say that he wanted to teach all the classes. He asked what kind of classes people in the industry wanted to see offered.

    I think that it is sad that this thread got so sidetracked, because it could have been a great help to PPFA in making the next convention a great place of education. They could have hired a CPA to come to the Convention to teach about proper book keeping. They could have asked for some conservators to come and give a demonstration on removing mold from work of art on paper.. or some such thing. But no... the people on this thread seem to want to fight, instead of helping the industry as a whole progress.


    Rob and Jim-
    I hope that you don't decide that these people are no longer worth educating. Don't look at the actions of a few as a reason to walk away from the rest. There are still good people out there, wanting your classes, and wanting to see what else PPFA might be able to produce next year.
  43. nikfrz

    nikfrz SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It seemed as though the thread was getting back on track, and was again derailed (and I'm not talking about Paul).
  44. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Couldn't agree more. That is why the Education Committee works hard to vet those who do teach classes for them. I would, however, add that just because one knows the subject well does not mean that they are an effective "teacher/educator." I would say that there is much more to teaching/presenting a class than getting up in front of a group of people and talking. There have been some really bad classes because even though the speaker was knowledgeable, they could not effectively present a compelling class on the subject.

    If this is a thinly veiled dig at me, Paul- you missed the mark. :)

    For the insurance class, I would venture that after 32 years of running a business with multiple locations, working on high value items, and transporting and installing art - and requiring insurance for all aspects of that business, plus the unfortunate necessity of filing claims for several of those aspects......and having researched insurance and communicated with CAPAX for years I might know enough about insurance to be an effective presenter.

    I didn't ask to teach the class, CAPAX came to me and asked if I could develop a program for them WHICH I DID AND THEY "TWEAKED". They also hired me as a presenter because they felt that I could effectively deliver their message and I have a industry presence that could lend credibility to their efforts. Apparently I have done a good enough job that they have hired me for the past three years to give the presentation, with insurance experts on hand to handle the questions and answers. Evaluations have been positive but it is up to them to determine who to hire next year (or if they will continue to offer the class).

    None of this is in dispute. This thread was going along fine until post #23 when Pat said, "My question is, who decides what classes PPFA or the WCAF show has and why are they not giving the people what they want?"

    So Jim and I attempted to factually answer the question based on the criteria currently at hand. We do not make the rules and have given the names and contact information of those that do. Yet we are lambasted for sharing the guidelines that we must also conform to?

    Serious question for you, Paul - have you ever taken a gilding class at the WCAF or from the PPFA?

    When the PPFA did have a gilding class, to the best of my knowledge it was taught by the late Don Berkman - a framer who made his living framing pictures. He was not a gold leaf supplier, nor did he sell the materials he used to demonstrate with. And, EVEN IF HE HAD A FAVORITE BRAND of burnisher, he was precluded from saying which brand he preferred. (until after the class in a "framer to framer" setting and NOT AS AN INSTRUCTOR.)

    The gilding classes at the WCAF are taught by Marty Horowitz and Yozo Suzuki. Both of them make their living producing frames. The class is about the process of gilding, not an advotorial for their respective businesses. Marty is most likely given some leeway with his "brand preferences" because he is demonstrating a process whose results/formulas may not be reproducible if using an alternative brand or material. Marty even says that if one is having difficulty achieving the same results, don't call him to ask what went wrong if one attempts substitutions. But Marty and Yozo have no financial gain from naming the brands.

    Once again, I have no control over who teaches or the policies that exist. Pat asked, "why" and I (albiet foolishly) attempted to explain - and even made suggestions as to who/how she (or anyone else) could contact or get involved to change/question/complain about the existing policies or could become a committee member to influence the course curriculum.

    I would LOVE to see Pat teach a class and I have already said that I would not only attend, but send my staff to take her classes as well. I use her products in my business and am always interested to see what's new at her booth. But, Pat needs to follow the same guidelines as ALL THE OTHER SUPPLIERS who have a proprietary interest in the subjects they teach.

    There are also different "rules" (none of which I made or have any control over) for the WCAF (a "for profit" organization) and the PPFA (non-profit organization).

    Pat raised the point, "PPFA chapters all over the country bring me in to teach and I was recognized for my Innovation by them this year, but I am still not asked to teach at the main event."

    A vaild point- and one that, unfortunately may trigger scrutiny from the National Office (and NOT due to motivation from ME.)

    I would conjecture that the Chapters may be financially unable to have speakers on a regular basis who fit the "National Guidelines" and would welcome a presentation for a specific product by the company that has a vested interest in the product. However, the "stakes" are very different. Often the venue is at a supplier's warehouse, or a member shop - with little to no cost to the chapter for holding the event - and, attendees can decide whether or not they want to attend the event. My chapter also had various supplier members donate food and/or door prizes to the event to encourage attendance. There is rarely a requirement to "sell" tickets and the administrative aspects of the event are performed by volunteers.

    The Convention has completely different costs. As Jim Miller already posted, even if Pat volunteered her time to teach the class, and did not want to charge anything - there is a cost to the PPFA for holding the class, including; publicity, tickets, the room fee, AV, etc. How could PPFA fairly offer the class to someone who has admitted that "she is the product" and whose company would surely benefit from the increased sales that such a class might produce without offering the same to all supplier members?

    Yes, Pat has "given" to this industry. Absolutely, without question. So have many other vendors and I dare say many have financially supported the PPFA with larger "giving" than Pat. Why shouldn't they also get a "free" class?

    Paul, I don't understand your hostility and continued potshots taken at me. Were you at WACF/PPFA this year? Were you in any of my classes?

    I remember that you used to write for PFM and also teach at the WACF but now you do neither? Why is that?

    Could that be a source of your anger at those who do?
  45. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The situation seems to be a lot more complicated than it would first seem.

    Pat teaches techniques. These techniques involve the use of her product. From one perspective she is an instructor of techniques. From another perspective she is a entrepreneur advertising her product.

    Other people teach techniques. They do not own a company advertising a product. However, they often do receive other income from companies whose products coordinate with the techniques.

    At some point I think you say that if these companies underwrite the WCAF classes then Pat's company should as well, in the same venue. If you're talking about the PPFA courses I think she deserves the same opportunity that others receive who teach classes about framing techniques. Sure, her company provides the bulk of the product behind it. If you take a class in making your own museum glass boxes then Tru Vue surely benefits. The instructor is a consultant to Tru Vue. I don't see any problem with that. It seems rather healthy.

    I don't understand why it would be impossible for Pat to be afforded the same opportunity.

    The issue then goes to conservation standards, I guess, but who says every single class for a technique and treatment has to be for framing things to 100% conservation/preservation standards anyway?

    Sometimes you just want to frame a stupid jersey in an hour. Watching her latest DVD for the first time, I can tell you, I feel way more confident about the relative level of conservation than I did using my decades old method, or even the way I was using the tagging gun.

    Now it seems as though Pat knows who to contact for next year to find out how to formally request a class. I support that. I hope it gets done. The issues sure can get muddied and there is a ton of opportunity for confusion. And that leads to arguments.

    Commercialism exists. It's why we are all there in the first place. Everyone wants to make money. As long as all the affiliations are clearly stated then what's the problem with that? There is evidently a process where people who are attempting sole commercialism are vetted out. I wish that had been the case at a few classes that I've wasted time sitting through. When the class becomes more about selling a product than learning about something that's when things go bad fast, especially when the product is a bad deal. These are the classes that we should be worried about suppressing.

    I've got a pretty ok looking website. It's not where I want it to be but I work on it as I have time and I get a lot of compliments. It pushes people to social media and I've got over 1000 Twitter followers and I'm excruciatingly close to 1500 Facebook fans. I got a call one day and the person asked if I would like to give a presentation on social media. I said "No, #### no. And not only will I not do it, I won't attend it if you're asking someone like me to give it in the first place." Why? Hey just because you're popular doesn't mean you're smart. There are people who know so much about this who would jump at the chance. Of course they would be pushing their product most likely, but they would be far better instructors than any framer.

    I am giving a presentation a little later in the year. Know what it's on? FRAMING. Know who I'm giving it to? PEOPLE WHO HAVEN'T THE FIRST CLUE ABOUT FRAMING. Photographers, specifically. But there I can do some good. And possibly make some money. Win/Win. I raise their level of knowledge and I gain opportunity. That's the best way.
  46. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Absolutely - especially because it is TWO organizations offering education; one FOR PROFIT and the other a NON-PROFIT

    I continue to respond to posts on this thread because I believe it is important that people understand how the system really works.

    Here is where you "muddy the water, johnny- There wasn't any class named as such or promoted as such.

    I believe the class you are alluding to is Jim Miller's "Glass Enclosures for 3D Framing" which was offered at this year's PPFA Convention.

    Let's look at the course description:

    "Don't discard your scraps of expensive, optically coated glass - use them to earn extra profit with this advanced, unique and innovative three-dimensional shadowbox framing! Ordinary acrylic boxes have no optical or preservation attributes, like ordinary glass. But glass shadowboxes can be made out of optically coated, anti-reflection UV-filtered glass. Jim will provide detailed, step-by-step illustrated instructions to assembled a durable glass shadowbox and attach it securely within the rabbet of any ordinary frame.

    *Meets the requirements for MCPF Continuing Education Credit - open to all framers, not just MCPF designees.

    Sponsored by the PPFA Framers Corner forum: www.ppfacorner.com"

    First if all, please note that this is a class about a process of making an enclosure, not about a specific glass type.

    Please read the description of the materials suggested; "optically coated, anti-reflection UV-filtered glass."
    A generic description and not brand specific.

    Are there more than one type of glass that meets this criteria? YES

    Are they made by competing manufacturers? YES

    Do the types of glass have different UV filtering properties? YES

    Do the types of glass have different aesthetic properties? YES

    Does that favor one over the other? NO because they all have "optical and preservation attributes."
    A very generic and accurate/non-judgemental description.

    Will they all work with this process? YES

    Are either of them sponsors of this class? NO

    In fact, because of Jim's "consultancy" (which does not mean, "paid spokesperson" - nor is the endorsement or promotion of any product Tru-Vue makes a part of the consultancy "agreement") I would say that Jim has to be even MORE CAREFUL that he does NOT show any favoritism towards one brand of glass or another.

    Have you read Jim's and my responses to this thread? Pat HAS been offered the same opportunity that is open to ALL proprietary vendors.
    It isn't up to Jim or me - and you ALL have been given the names and contact information of those who do make those decisions.

    Agree completely. Have you ever taken any of my classes? I am the champion of the "we are over-conserving ourselves out of jobs" mantra.

    BUT - It is not a secret that Pat disagrees with the newly published PPFA Guidelines for Framing Needlework and Textiles and is unhappy with their positioning of "tagging" in the hierarchy of framing "levels." Why should the PPFA provide a venue/teaching platform to someone who is openly hostile and critical of the "standards" established by a jury of her peers?

    I didn't write the Guidelines and had NOTHING to do with the committee that did.

    As an educator for the PPFA, when teaching, PAT (or any educator) would have to embrace "what the guidelines say" and would also have to teach "what the guidelines say" so that those who want to pass the CPF and MCPF exams (offered by the PPFA) could do so.

    johnny- Let's name names. Please give a specific example of such a class so that others can understand what you mean - and the classes may not have even been framing classes you are referring to.

    What do you mean, "we?" Once more- I have no desire to "suppress" any class so long as the class is held to the same guidelines/criteria that all are.
  47. johnny

    johnny SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Nah, I usually don't name names, especially company names, when I criticize and I don't see any reason to make more enemies just to back up a random point on a forum post.

    I'm happy you responded. I read it and understand your arguments. I gave my opinion on the matter because that's what forums are about and I'm happy to let your reply stand without the usually useless back-and-forth bickering on the minutia that further arguments usually get us into.
  48. Paul Cascio

    Paul Cascio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Rob, my beef is with your actions, your arrogance, and your double standard of behavior.

    You promote your "Limo Extravaganza", your wife's book, etc. I don't have a problem with that, but to claim that Pat would somehow be violating some standard of ethical selection is hogwash.

    You and some ther PPFA "insiders" took a free trip paid for by Tru-Vue, fail to disclose it, then talk up the product. That's not okay.

    You and other PPFA officers, when you post about PPFA officers or affiliates, or offer an opinion on a PPFA related matter, should identify your current (or previous executive) position within the organization. Yes, you're volunteers, but that doesn't excuse ethical disclosure. It also doesn't mean you might not receive some valuable consideration at times.

    Where's the move on ethical standards for that? Or for promoting each others classes as if you're not colleagues? Show me ethics in your actions, not in some self-serving, unpublished, or hitherto unheard of rules.

    As for me, I make my living teaching, and by producing and selling instructional materials. Just as you won't give away framing, I don't give away free classes. However, and you can disagree if you want, but I feel I've been very generous in sharing information on this forum, and in encouraging ethical behavior and disclosure. I've also contributed more than a decade's worth of published magazine articles, that although I own the copyrights to them, I allow them to be viewed and downloaded free of charge. I’ve also posted at least one instructional video on YouTube,a nd will make several others available in the near future.

    I've been a very vocal critic of the PPFA because I don't feel it's done enough for the industry in its time of need, and especaily the small businesses that make up its membership majority. However, that doesn't mean I don't want PPFA to succeed and grow. I do. I'd even be willing to help, especially as I've sensed recently the beginnings of a move for it to evolve.

    I’ve been criticized for complaining from the sidelines about PPFA. Recently I’ve come to accept this as a fair criticism and that I should I be trying to work for change by becoming active in PPFA, rather than complaining about it from the outside.

    I'm actually leaning toward doing exactly that, becoming a member again, and even donating some free speaking appearances, on a limited basis, or participating in other ways. I’m open to dialogue too and to helping make PPFA better and stronger.

  49. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Well Paul, you got me again. But I think you are confusing confidence with arrogance. :)

    Once again, you are right. Never disclosed it. Nor the subsequent trips. Yes, Paul there have been more than one. (Did you know we had another summit last October that included a private tour of the Art Institute's Conservation Lab?). Those free trips must surely cause me to compromise my values and talk up their products. My years of profitably using them in my business before I became a consultant do not count.

    Nor did I disclose the limo that PMA once provided for me and my family in Paris. (Gotta be the reason I am so pro-PPFA) Nor the dozens of "free" lunches and dinners provided by all the moulding/supplier companies I tout. Nor the kickback I receive from the Chinese Restaurant for the dinner I put on (gotta make that boat payment somehow) or the kickbacks from the other vendors who plead with me to choose their goods to demonstrate in my classes. Gosh - right before WCAF it's a wonder that I can get any work done because the phone is ringing off the hook. But if I did disclose all of it, there would be even more reason for you to call me arrogant. So I hid it from all of you and I am sorry. I feel better now.

    You got me again. Once, many years ago I was the vice-president of the San Diego PPFA Chapter. Sorry I failed to mention it. And it has served me well. Have you seen pictures of my house? Thanks, PPFA!

    Do you know why I am not on the Board of PPFA nor have ever become an officer? So I can teach and get rich! :) Are you aware that Board Members or Officers are precluded from teaching?

    Cross promotion of each other's classes is one of the rules of membership in the Good Old Boys Club, Paul. Of course the rules are self-serving. But hitherto unheard of rules? You think I just made them up? The PPFA has ALWAYS had written contracts and guidelines for educators, and none of it has ever been secret.

    Just the other day Jim Miller and I agreed that he would plug my upcoming speaking engagement at the PPFA Lake Geneva, WI event on April 7-8 if I would plug his upcoming speaking engagement at the Frame Specialties 25th Anniversary open house at The Sheraton Hotel on March 10th in Novi, MI. where he will present two seminars, How to Promote and Sell Custom Framing and also his world famous 3D Glass Enclosures Class - both FREE of Charge!

    That's the best news I have heard all night. And my font color is not green. I wish you would join and get involved. The PPFA does need your ideas and support. Certainly if you do not like the way things are being done, if you surround yourself with like minded people, you do have the power to make changes through the election process and committee participation.
  50. FramerDave

    FramerDave PFG, Picture Framing God

    Actually we can teach. But if we teach for the PPFA we can't get paid for it.
Sponsor Wanted

Share This Page

Wizard Ad